Newport Jazz Fest Countdown: Scofield/Lovano Quartet

Back in the early ‘90s John Scofield and Joe Lovano shared the front line of a feisty quartet that made it sound like nu-bop was the most exciting jazz parlance around. Their Time On My Hands, Meant To Be, and What We Do (all under Sco’s name) turned into instant classics, influenced plenty of others, and then they went OOP, making them even more legend. The records worked so well because the guitarist and saxophonist had freewheeling musical personalities that always curved back towards each other regardless of how far away they ventured. In their masterful hands, the dynamics of tension and release were honed and re-honed until the interplay all but gleamed. That was a quarter century ago. Now they’re two of jazz’s most inspired veterans, both in their mid-‘60s and both refining the sizable chunk of ground they’ve broken during their careers. Last year they reunited for Past Present (Impulse!), and you can hear the ease that a shared perspective brings to the table as they bounce their way through a parcel of intricate ditties like “Slinky” and “Enjoy The Future!” Lovano’s trademark bluster is half growl half purr – bluesy and strong. Scofield’s limber maneuvers remain energized, cagey and elliptical – full of unexpected turns. Locked into a deep relationship with hard swing, they’ll def goose each other into some next level stuff at Fort Adams.

Newport Jazz Fest 2016

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